Dallas, TX

Dallas Public Library

Greetings from Dallas Public Library! The Library’s PTRC, established in 1977, is located in the Government Information Center on the 6th Floor of the J. Erik Jonsson Central Library. Although our staff is small, and shares responsibility for collections from both the 6th and 5th Floors (Business and Technology), we do benefit from having more than one person with some degree of experience working with patent and trademark information including PTRC Representative Greg Browder, in addition to a handful of other “seasoned” library staff who assist 5th and 6th Floor customers. Furthermore, during this past year we have taken advantage of overlapping target populations for the two Floors, beginning to market workshops developed for entrepreneurs (5th Floor) to our inventor audience (6th Floor).

We upgraded our PTRC Website to incorporate the PTRC logo and increase the site’s usefulness by providing links to key content on the USPTO website, such as the “How to Conduct a Preliminary Patent Search” tutorial and the “Forms for Patent Applications …” Page. We also added a “News” section, and highlighted a few select titles from our holdings showing that we had we had resources of interest to beginners (e.g. Patent it Yourself) as well as resources useful for more advanced audiences (e.g. Faber on Mechanics of Patent Claim Drafting). The direct link to the website is http://dallaslibrary2.org/government/patents.php.

We continued to offer the bi-monthly One-to-One Question and Answer Workshops, a program that we began hosting in 1998. Greg Browder coordinated these workshops which provide individual inventors an opportunity to sit down for a 20-minute session meeting with Bob Wise, registered Patent Attorney and former Patent Examiner, as well as the president of the Texas Inventors Association. This program is typically booked to capacity, and receives high ratings from attendees, yielding comments such as these from workshops in 2013: “Great info and a great community service. Thank you!” and “Nice to speak with an attorney in a non-pressure situation. I did not feel fast-talked.” and “What a blessing to speak with the attorney before any decisions that would have been costly to the patent.”

Inventors were also included in business-related workshops such as one hosted by the library and presented by the City's Office of Economic Development on "Business Plan Basics". The session was geared toward low-to-moderate income individuals developing for-profit business with five or fewer employees. It covered what to consider when starting a small business and what one needs to know about drafting the basic components of a business plan. Attendee evaluations included comments like, "The information they presented is very helpful. The speakers are amazing." and [what I liked best was] "knowledge of the speakers, breadth of info."